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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2010, 07:43 PM
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Default ex refuses to give medication

hi there,

new to the forum and hoping for some help. - sorry it's so long!

I have a court order for sole custody, with ex having access. During the summer we're on a week on/week off schedule. During the school year ex has child every second weekend.

After a year of seeing numerous doctors, specialists, psychologists, social workers and countless special education professionals my son's dr and I decided to try my son on a medication for his ADHD. It was not an easy or light decision. I sent an email to ex a month ago with the details of the medication, the frequency and method for giving it and gave him an opportunity to respond (although I am not required to - according to the court order I have sole decision making power on medical decisions). He did not respond to that issue on the email - but did read it as he responded to other issues on the same email. The dr and I discussed start times and the lead time for it being effective and decided that the summer was the best time to ramp up so son would be ready for school in September.

I started my son on the medication and sent enough for the week he was at his dad assuming everything was fine. My son came home after his week at his dad's and handed me the medication I had sent telling me that his dad told him that he had made a decision and that he wasn't going to give my son the medication.

I've talked to the dr and the dr said that it wasn't an ideal situation that son was off the medication for the week - but that it needed to be given consistently. I've got another call in to discuss it further as I still have questions but my question here is what do I do about my ex now?

He's passive aggressive and attempts to be controlling - he refuses to speak to me, refuses to respond to any emails. I can only assume that he's not going to give my son the medication any time he's up there for the rest of the summer.

So here are my questions:
  1. is there something I can do to "force" my ex to give my son the medication (son can't take it without help)
  2. given the sole custody - can I cancel my ex's summer access unless he agree's to give son the medication? (soooo not ideal - I know - and there's still no guarentee that ex won't "convince" son to lie and say he took it and then didn't)
  3. other??? I don't even know!!??

Given the past issues of attempts at my controlling me and son - I'm hesitant to just roll over on this and wait and give it to son when the schedule goes back to when son is mostly with me. I'm also not sure that's the best option medically (that's another question I have for the dr).

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks!!
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:08 AM
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I would think that that is a form of neglect on your ex`s part, for not giving him the medication specifically ordered by the doctor to help with your son`s condition. Neglecting the health and well being of your son, I would definately contact your lawyer to find out the appropriate way to handle this, maybe child services may need to get involved. Good luck
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:51 AM
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How old is your son? Perhaps, if you feel he's mature enough, he could be responsible for looking after his own meds? Both of mine have been handling their own meds since about 6 or 7.

Talking to your son about it may help. If you give the kid the tools and information to understand what the medication is for, how it helps him and how it is not helpful for him to not take it, he can learn to express that to his dad on his own. Dad is far more likely to get on board with your son taking the meds if the boy himself can clearly express why he wants to be on them and how he feels both on and off them.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:08 AM
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If you have sole custody and the medication is necessary in your and your doctor's opinion, then the child should be receiving his recommended doses. If the father is refusing the medication, he may very well have legitimate concerns, but he has no say in the matter, no more than your neighbour or your mother or the babysitter. He does not have legal custody, it's not his decision.

I think it would be extremely trying on on everyone to go through some kind of court process where you get an order forcing him to give the medication, and then if he doesn't he faces legal consequence. It would be possible to do this but personally I think it is the most difficult and stressful path, not to mention expensive.

You do not have cause to deny access altogether, but to me there would be reason to require that the child be with you daily to receive the meds. This could mean you meet the child for lunch and in the evening for a few minutes, or it could mean you keep the child for all overnights and the father may have daytime access. But you need to decide what works for you. It won't be convenient. I suspect that once you put your foot down and insist on implementing this regime, the father will decide to go along.

The father of course feels he has not voice in this, and he is trying to assert some level of control. His emotions are natural, the problem is that he has already lost or given up legal custody, he does not have decision making in this. It might help if you were able to talk to him about his concerns and take him to the doctor with you and have a civil conversaton with the doctor. That requires him to co-operate of course.
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Old 07-30-2010, 07:59 PM
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Default thanks

Hi there,

Thank you so much for your kind words.

I've spoken to son's father, doctor and a lawyer about the situation.

Son's father does not agree with the medication, stated that I had "supposed" sole custody (he'd be wise not to say that to the judge that ordered the sole custody on the court order) and that he had made a decision and son wouldn't be taking the medication - despite his not having a say (and stated so well by Mess).

Doctor is supportive and understands the situation and has suggested that we try a different course of treatment to avoid ex disrupting the drug schedule even if a court order was in place (on top of the sole custody). Her concern for son is that the drugs are not tied to an attempt at power and control by son's father. BUT BUT BUT if the alternate isn't the best option or the side effects are not good - we'll get the court order to compel son's father to dispense the medication as prescribed.

Lawyer - was new to me - and lovely - she understands my financial situation and offered to coach me through the paperwork and provide some instruction for filing on my own. So legal help without the HUGE bill. This will come in handy because there's a laundry list of other items in the court order that son's father feels he can ignore, refuse, and/or change at his whim.

Everyone in the world - lol - EVERYONE I've mentioned this too is HORRIFIED at my ex's behaviour over this - not giving him the medication - not speaking to his dr's, making a medical decision without telling me (this isn't the first - I've got a nice long novel of stupid, ridiculous, harmful, hurtful things my ex has done to son over the last 7 years)

So again - thanks
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:21 AM
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Had the same problem with my ex. He isn't a great supporter of any sort of medication (or medical treatment) and wouldn't give our daughter her regular iron supplement when she was with him. Othertimes, the antibiotics would mysteriously get spilled and I would have to return to the pediatrician with the child when she returned to get another dosage.

She is five years old and we still continue to struggle with this.

Nadia
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